Wilson, Vernon E.

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Biographical sketch: Dr. Vernon E. Wilson (1915-1992) was a nationally known leader in medical education and an innovative administrator of medical programs in academia and government.

In 1959, Dr. Wilson became the dean and director of the University of Missouri Medical Center at Columbia. While at the University of Missouri in the 1960s, he held the positions of executive director for health affairs (1967-1968) and vice president for Academic Affairs (1968-1970). In the late 1960s Dr. Wilson gained a well-respected reputation as the Coordinator of the successful Missouri Regional Medical Program. Regional Medical Programs (RMPs) were established as a result of the Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke amendments to the Hill-Burton Act passed by the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration in 1965. The goal of the legislation was to fund and facilitate coordinated regional efforts to conduct medical research and training, provide better delivery of health services, and widely disseminate medical information. As one of the first promising RMPs after the legislation, the Missouri RMP became the model program for other RMPs throughout the country. Wilson's skills as an administrator and his familiarity with RMPs led to his appointment in 1970 as the Administrator of the newly-formed Health Services and Mental Health Administration (HSMHA). The responsibilities of the HSMHA, a bureau of the Public Health Service, included overseeing RMPs. Wilson was appointed by, and served under, Elliott Richardson, the Director of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare until 1972. Dr. Wilson ended his career as Vice President for Medical Affairs at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he served from 1974 until his retirement in 1981.

From the description of Vernon E. Wilson papers, 1953-1981 (bulk 1970-1979). (National Library of Medicine). WorldCat record id: 50155758

Dr. Vernon E. Wilson (1915-1992) was a nationally known leader in medical education and an innovative administrator of medical programs in academia and government. Born in 1915 to farm parents in Plymouth, Iowa, Dr. Wilson delayed his college education during the Great Depression and worked as a mechanic to assist his family in keeping the family farm. He served with the Navy in the Pacific during World War II, and earned his M.D. degree on the G.I. bill in 1953 from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Although Dr. Wilson was trained in pharmacology, he never hung up his shingle for private practice. Immediately after graduation, he became an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the University of Kansas.

In 1959, Dr. Wilson became the Dean and Director of the University of Missouri Medical Center at Columbia. While at the University of Missouri in the 1960s, he held the positions of Executive Director for Health Affairs (1967-1968) and Vice President for Academic Affairs (1968-1970). In the late 1960s Dr. Wilson gained a well-respected reputation as the Coordinator of the successful Missouri Regional Medical Program. Regional Medical Programs (RMPs) were established as a result of the Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke amendments to the Hill-Burton Act passed by the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration in 1965. The goal of the legislation was to fund and facilitate coordinated regional efforts to conduct medical research and training, provide better delivery of health services, and widely disseminate medical information. As one of the first promising RMPs after the legislation, the Missouri RMP became the model program for other RMPs throughout the country. In Dr. Wilson's early years at the University of Missouri, he flew his single engine plane to rural areas in Missouri to establish links between physicians throughout the state and the University of Missouri School of Medicine. These efforts paid off in later years when he coordinated the Missouri RMP.

Wilson's skills as an administrator and his familiarity with RMPs led to his appointment in 1970 as the Administrator of the newly-formed Health Services and Mental Health Administration (HSMHA). The responsibilities of the HSMHA, a bureau of the Public Health Service, included overseeing RMPs. Wilson was appointed by, and served under, Elliott Richardson, the Director of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare until 1972. Dr. Wilson returned to the University of Missouri as Professor of Community Health and Medical Practice from 1973 through 1974.

Wilson's reputation as a medical educator meant that he was asked to serve on numerous professional committees throughout his career. Among these were a long-term membership on the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association, Executive Council member of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and committee chairmanships on the American Board of Family Practice. Dr. Wilson ended his career as Vice President for Medical Affairs at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he served from 1974 until his retirement in 1981.

From the guide to the Vernon E. Wilson Papers, 1953-1981, (History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Universal Negro Improvement Association. Records 1921-1986. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
creatorOf Wilson, Vernon E. Vernon E. Wilson papers, 1953-1981 (bulk 1970-1979). National Library of Medicine
creatorOf United States. Regional Medical Programs Service. Regional Medical Programs Service collection, 1948-1993 (bulk 1966-1978; 1991-1993). National Library of Medicine
referencedIn Wilson, Vernon : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Regional Medical Programs Collection, 1948-1993 (bulk 1966-1978; 1991-1994) History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine
creatorOf University of Missouri. Vice President for Academic Affairs. Vernon Wilson's general correspondence, 1968-1969. University of Missouri -- Columbia. University Archives, MU Archives; University of Missouri Columbia. University Archives
creatorOf Vernon E. Wilson Papers, 1953-1981 History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adriani, John, 1907- person
associatedWith Bass, B. J. person
associatedWith Buessler, John A. person
associatedWith Dimond, E. Grey (Edmunds Grey), 1918- person
associatedWith Lindberg, Donald A. B., 1933- person
associatedWith Lucas, Fred V. person
associatedWith Missouri Regional Medical Program corporateBody
associatedWith Regional Medical Programs corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Health Resources and Services Administration corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Regional Medical Programs Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Universal Negro Improvement Association. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Missouri corporateBody
associatedWith University of Missouri. Vice President for Academic Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith Vanderbilt University. School of Medicine corporateBody
associatedWith Wescoe, Clark person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Medical Records Systems, Computerized
Medicine
Public health
Regional medical programs
Rural health services
Community health services
Medical education
Medical ethics
Health policy
Occupation
Activity

Person

Active 1968

Active 1969

Information

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